As I approached a white building door on a shockingly cold March night in Tribeca, I was greeted in the lobby by two graceful ladies sternly guarding a very short guest list. Adriane Ayma introduced herself as one of the two co-founders and artists hosting the party. She took the elevator up and I waited in mystery. After waiting to receive a check mark next to my name in anticipation and almost not getting in, I was approached by Anthony Frattin and was in to experience his newly launched art concept.
He led me to a tiny elevator that went up to the fourth floor and we walked down a white hallway with several mysterious blue pastel doors. On the next sharp left, we entered a brightly lit cozy studio with about 27 guests mingling with their glasses of wine. There was a mini bar, an industrial looking coffee table, and several large abstract paintings clung to the top of the walls. In the left corner of this buzzing room was where all the action took place.
Craig Mahoney, the featured and the third rotating artist was hard at work painting a large canvas as guests chattered and observed him. Before Mahoney, Monel King Aliote and Andrew Dejesus painted the same canvas leaving their collaborative mark and distinctive styles. Aliote created a pop art version of Marilyn Monroe, while Dejesus completely rebelled and defaced Marliyn’s face with splotchy paint marks covering her eyes and bosom. Mahoney finished by creating a graffiti wall and superimposing Audrey Hepburn and Humprey Bogart next to Marilyn creating a juxtaposition of Hollywood icons and street art. The surprise result is the nature of collaboration and life. The end results are exciting and unpredictable.
As artists themselves, Anthony and Adriane created ‘The Art Factory’ in reminiscent to the 80s party culture Warhol and Basquiat created with a hip scene of celebrity icons, artists, and stimulant lovers. In contrast, the duo aims to create an immersive and intimate environment for the audience to experience the process of art and its organic practice by emerging artists. The concept of three rotating artists for Adriane is methodical as she carefully picks the order of artists according to style, personality, and perception.
There is an interesting silent conversation that occurs between absent painters and the brush strokes they leave for their succesors. It is both deliberate and unforeseen. It highlights the essence of collaboration and human experience. We may leave our individual imprints, but culturally the experience is universally shared amongst us all.
Writing by Upahar Rana
Photography by Shefali M Kumar, Lemiron Starling and Anthony Frattin